Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has entered a plea days before he was set for trial on assault and battery charges over allegations he pushed a United Airlines baggage employee at Dulles International Airport. As part of the deal he will write a letter of apology to the baggage worker.
At a hearing in Loudoun County, Va., General District Court on Monday Filner entered a so-called Alford plea after prosecutors amended the assault and battery charges to trespassing, also a misdemeanor. That means he did not admit guilt, but acknowledged sufficient evidence exists for a conviction.
He was fined $100 and agreed to send an apology letter within two weeks to Joanne Kay Kunkel, the baggage worker who accused him of trying to shove past her into an employee-only area after his bags were delayed Aug. 19.
Filner had been set for trial Dec. 4 on the assault and battery charges.
“If it’s not a real apology that would be viewed as a breach of the agreement and I would have the option of bringing back the charges,” Ryan Perry, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said in a phone interview.